Home Renovation Singapore Costs – How Should You Plan Your Budget

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Buying a property in Singapore is extremely expensive.

So, after making a massive effort to purchase your dream house, it’s understandable why you want to make it look amazing. 

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Here’s your next problem: When it comes to home renovation costs, Singapore isn’t a cheap place. We’ll tell you how much you can expect to fork out as we explain the most usual changes. Keep reading below!

Cost Of Home Renovations In Singapore

Before getting into the actual renovations, you’d need an estimated price to plan your budget better. This price is determined by the factors below:

  • Type of home: HDB apartment, house, condominium
  • Features: existing fittings, age, current condition
  • The extent of renovations: from high to low
  • Materials: for example, marble and wood are expensive compared to laminate
  • Vendor: contractors and designers in Singapore have different rates

That’s why, if you try an online renovation calculator, you’ll get an immense price range. For example, minimal renovation costs for a 2-room HDB apartment of about 60m2 costs anywhere from $500 to $40,000.

If you need more precise figures, Qanvast says a 4-room HDB renovation cost $44,000 in 2020. If you need to renovate a resale flat, the price goes up to $52,000.

However, these prices will always depend on your needs and preferences.

 

Renovation Cost Singapore – HDB Flats

Using Qanvast renovation calculator, we get these figures for HDB renovation:

The living and dining room costs are:

Renovation componentLightModerateExtensive
Hacking$100-$400$400-$700$700-$3,900
Masonry$100-$1,300$1,300-$3,000$3,000-$22,000
Carpentry$200-$3,400$3,400-$6,100$6,100-$23,700
Ceiling & partition$200-$800$800-$1,200$1,200-$3,200
Total:$600-$5,900$5,900-$11,000$11,000-$52,800

Now, let’s look at your bedroom figures:

Renovation componentLightModerateExtensive
Hacking$100-$600$600-$1,000$1,000-$5,200
Masonry$200-$1,300$1,300-$2,800$2,800-$8,800
Carpentry$200-$4,400$4,400-$7,500$7,500-$33,700
Ceiling & partitionUp to $600$600-$1,100$1,100-$5,000
Total:$500-$6,900$6,900-$13,400$13,400-$52,700


Basically, a well-renovated kitchen is an investment into your long-term health. Your kitchen may need quite a lot of renovations. Think kitchen cabinets, table islands, sinks and more.

Although this room doesn’t seem essential, its improvements will render it more functional. You’ll have more space to move around so that you can cook more healthy meals and spend more time with your family.

Cost of renovating your kitchen:

Renovation componentLightModerateExtensive
Hacking$100-$500$500-$900$900-$3,200
Masonry$200-$1,300$1,300-$3,900$3,900-$11,300
Carpentry$100-$4,300$4,300-$6,900$6,900-$17,900
Plumbing$100-$200$200-$500$500-$1,700
Total:$500-$6,300$6,300-$12,200$12,200-$33,100

Now let’s analyse the ballpark costs to renovate your bathroom:

Renovation componentLightModerateExtensive
Hacking$100-$500$500-$1,000$1,000-$6,800
Masonry$100-$1,500$1,500-$5,700$5,700-$17,500
Carpentry$200-$1,200$1,200-$2,100$2,100-$9,000
Plumbing$100-$400$400-$800$800-$3,900
Total:$500-$3,600$3,600-$9,600$9,600-$37,200

But there’s more to renovation than what we’ve discussed so far. You have to consider wiring, painting, plus windows.

At the end of these jobs, you’ll want to consider disposal and cleanup too.

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Renovation componentLightModerateExtensive
Electrical wiring$300-$1,700$1,700-$3,200$3,200-$7,700
Painting$200-$1,400$1,400-$1,800$1,800-$4,100
Windows, doors & grilles$400-$2,600$2,600-$5,100$5,100-$13,800
Disposal & cleanup$300-$1,100$1,100-$1,700$1,700-$13,900
Total:$1,200-$6,800$6,800-$11,800$11,800-$39,500

 

Home Renovation Components Explained

The tables above feature various terms used in HDB renovation. Some are easy to understand, such as electrical wiring or painting; others not so much. Let’s clarify these below:

Hacking 

Your contractor will get rid of anything built-in, from your furniture to floors, tiles and walls. The extent of these demolitions dictates the end price. 

Thus, if you want to renovate a resale flat, prepare a larger budget than for a new apartment.

On the other hand, you might not need hacking if, for instance, you want to add more modern floors from wood. These floors are easy to set on top of your time-worn tiles.

Masonry

Masonry means building things using cement. You can do a lot of masonry work during HDB renovation, such as:

  • Shower kerbs
  • Cabinet bases
  • Walls
  • Floors

The extent of masonry work in your apartment depends on how much hacking you’ve already done.  Larger surfaces demand more materials and more hours, so you’ll need more money for these changes.

Carpentry 

Carpentry refers to woodwork. For example, you might long for personalised wardrobes, bed frames, or a modern-looking bookcase.

If you have a limited budget, you can skip this step altogether. After all, Ikea and other affordable furniture shops in Singapore already have anything you dream of. You just need to know where to start looking.

 

What Are The Factors That Influence Renovation Cost?

When it comes to your home’s renovation cost Singapore isn’t a cheap place to live. You already saw the ballpark sums you need for the rough work. Now, let’s look at some prices for materials and finishes.

What exactly are these finishes, you ask?

The essential things to consider are:

  • Painting
  • Plastering
  • Skim coating
  • Tiles
  • Waterproofing

Add the prices for each, and your HDB renovation can do black-hole-size damage in your budget. Let’s begin:

Flooring materialCost
Vinyl$5.50 to $6.50 / feet2
Laminate$6 to $8 / feet2
Ceramic tiles$10 to $12 / feet2 (plus labour)
Cement screed (polished)$15 to $30 / feet2
Hardwood (e.g. parquet)$30 to $50 / feet2
Marble$40 to $70 / feet2
Then, you’ll have to decide the suitable materials for your kitchen, from your cabinets to your countertops. As you can see, vinyl and laminate are the cheapest materials. By comparison, marble and hardwood are the most expensive.

If you want the middle ground option, ceramic tiles or cement screen are worthy alternatives.

As we’ve already seen, laminate is the most affordable option for your cabinets. If you want these cabinets to be more rugged, you can choose wood or solid surface. However, that brings your budget to $150-$175 per foot run.

 

HDB Renovation Rules 

Ever seen those little notices posted on your neighbour’s door? Those that write about their renovation period?

You probably didn’t know that HDB has some stringent rules regarding the extent of your renovations. That’s why you have to submit your plans to double-check with HDB before you start breaking your walls.

Here are the crucial rules to remember:

    • You can’t remove, change the place, or alter load-bearing structures because it would be hazardous for everyone living in that HDB block. These structures include beams, columns, slabs, and walls.
    • You can’t work on essential structures that cover wires and pipes. That’s why you need to cross-check your plans with the HDB.
    • It’s mandatory to use pre-packed cement screed. On the downside, this material for your dry areas is more expensive.
    • You can’t change the floors and walls in your BTO bathroom for at least three years. The reason is that these structures feature waterproof membranes that keep water from invading your downstairs neighbours. The alternative is to set up tiles on top of what’s already there.
    • You can’t permanently conceal exposed pipes. Although they look nasty, HDB needs quick access if accidents occur. 
    • You can’t change most things for your bomb shelter. You want a safe bomb shelter, not a pretty one.
    • You must pick a fire-rated front door. That’s because you don’t want the smoke and fire to extend to the whole block.
    • You can’t change the HDB safety railings and grilles. 

Besides, you can renovate your HDB flat only:

  • Between 9 am and 5 pm, Monday to Saturday
  • Within three months after receiving the HDB permit

 

Renovation Cost Singapore: Vendors Options For You

The price of your renovations depends on the type of vendor you’re choosing:

  • Contractor
  • Design-and-build company
  • Interior designer

The cheapest option is hiring a contractor because they do no design work, project management or conceptualising. They may source your materials, but only if you specifically ask them to. Besides, contractor costs vary depending on the type of materials you’re using.

Although contractors are affordable, you need to know precisely what you want in your apartment. You should also take some time to oversee delicate procedures.

A design-and-build company is in the medium price range. They will find your materials and take care of project management, but you’ll still need to do most of the design based on your ideas.

Like in the case of contractors, the price for this sort of company depends on the type of materials you’re using. You may even get some design advice without any consultancy charges.

However, if you want a luxury apartment and have the budget for it, hire an interior designer. Interior designers are worthy alternatives if you don’t have the time – or inspiration – to do the creative work yourself.

They will help define your home’s style based on your personality. Besides, they will know how to source suitable materials to fit a specific theme and arrange them perfectly.

Why You Should Consider Getting A Home Renovation Loan

As mentioned above, renovation costs will add up from $3,600 to over $200,000. Unless you have this amount of money lying around, it might be difficult for you to come up with the cash.

Not to worry, renovation loans are designed to help homeowners like you!

Renovation loans will allow you to have financial access to all the design needs you want. Be it design, contractor or even furniture, a renovation loan can help.

Waste no time and secure the best renovation loan with our search tool here!